KITCHENER -- The City of Kitchener is encouraging people to leave their Christmas lights up during the month of January to help keep the holiday spirit going for a while longer.

“Even when we’re apart, Kitchener is finding ways to celebrate the holidays together as a community,” Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said in a news release. “Seeing our neighbourhoods lit up with lights and decorations has been a wonderful way to feel connected as a community – I love the idea of stretching that festive atmosphere into the new year as we continue to get outside for safe neighbourhood walks and physical activity."

Vrbanovic said he wants the lights to stay up during the province-wide lockdown, which will last until at least Jan. 23.

Officials said people should consider outdoor, virtual or physically distanced holiday celebrations heading into the new year.

The city will stream a New Year's Levee on its YouTube channel on Sunday, Jan. 3.